ExxonMobil sets out an "aggressive" growth strategy, but shares are down

Courtney Goldsmith
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ExxonMobil is one of the world's top oil companies (Source: Getty)

The world's largest publicly traded oil producer expects to double its earnings to $31bn (£22bn) by 2025 at today's oil prices.

ExxonMobil laid out an "aggressive" growth strategy today, saying it would increase earnings by more than 100 per cent with oil prices at around $65 a barrel, compared with last year's adjusted profit of $15bn, excluding the impact of US tax reform and impairments.

However, ExxonMobil's shares fell more than two per cent when the US market opened as analysts had hoped the firm would announce a stock buyback programme, according to Reuters.

Exxon expects growth coming online from new and existing projects to push production up from 4m barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) to about 5m boepd.

A large chunk of that increase is expected to come from production in the Permian Basin, the heart of the US shale industry, and an area where Exxon has already increased the size of its resource from 3m boe to 9.5m boe

In the Permian, Exxon expects to ramp up production five-fold. It also plans to start 25 tight oil, or shale, projects worldwide, which would add volumes of more than 1m boepd.

Another key area for growth is Guyana, where Exxon added 3.2bn gross oil equivalent barrels of recoverable resource and has plans in place for development and further exploration.

Chairman and chief executive Darren Woods, who got the job after the company's former boss, Rex Tillerson, left to become the US secretary of state, said:

We’ve got the best portfolio of high-quality, high-return investment opportunities that we’ve seen in two decades.

Our plan takes full advantage of the company’s unique strengths and financial capabilities, using innovation, technology and integration to drive long-term shareholder value and industry-leading returns.

Read more: Oil titans Chevron and Exxon Mobil both miss forecasts

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